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An extra £420m on benefits would be money well spent
An independent panel has recommended that Stormont bolsters social security. This advice is in line with the third sector’s consensus – including recent reports from Save the Children and Parenting NI.
The cost of living is creating a poverty sinkhole
A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that, while poverty in general has waxed and waned over the past 20 years, the number of people and families living in destitution has increased significantly.
The fundamental weaknesses of any UBI pilot scheme
The Welsh Government has announced a trial of universal basic income. That’s what they’re calling it, anyway. It’s a bold move by a devolved government and Stormont should pay attention. However, some issues remain.
Social security should be reasonable and sympathetic - but it is not
Universal Credit administration takes a hard line, even with measures that are supposed to make allowances for people in difficulty. Work from Advice NI has exposed another fault line in the system, leaving vulnerable people in hardship.
Northern Ireland in no position to take a one-two-three punch
Brexit, Welfare Reform and the health service – each is at a major moment for NI policy. But these are not independent issues. Any failures will compound. This could be disastrous.
If you want to improve the benefits system, speak up
The IFS says Universal Credit will lower the incomes of millions of people and that the welfare reform “hits the persistently poor the hardest on average.” But change is possible.
Welfare Reform mitigations have problems that could be helped by an Executive
An Audit Office report has highlighted huge Welfare Reform underspend. Several NI organisations say bigger problems are coming. With no Assembly, we are rudderless – but Stormont struggled to deal with this first time round.
How NI relies on Europe for employability schemes
The European Social Fund represents a small amount of EU money – but supports a huge proportion of the schemes in its sector. Westminster’s delay on developing a replacement is worrying.
Children in NI face plenty of problems (part two)
The second half of our look at NICCY’s Statement on Children’s Rights in NI focuses on safeguarding – including protections from child sexual exploitation and bullying, and fair treatment for those subject to immigration control.
Children in NI face plenty of problems (part one)
The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) has just released a comprehensive report on the problems faced by local children right now. It deserves close attention.
Sinn Fein Assembly manifesto for 2016
We continue to look at the main party's manifestos ahead of the Assembly elections - and find that Sinn Fein's document is unsurprising.
NICVA publishes manifesto ahead of elections
Election seasons is upon us and Scope will have a heavy focus on policy. This week NICVA published its own paper. We highlight their ideas.